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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  November 30, 2011 9:00am-12:00pm EST

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as you know in the last congress. very controversial. but we're still making efforts. we invested a lot of money in the american recovery and reinvestment act in alternative energy sources. and i think we will continue to do so. it is very controversial. there are a number of people -- there are people, smart people, who believe that global warming is not an issue. ..
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is having a detrimental effect on the warming of our planet and changing of our environment. so we are continuing to invests in alternative energy and that is normally a good thing to do in my opinion from an environmental standpoint but wonderful thing from an economic standpoint and there will be a lot of jobs created in the coming decades of producing alternative energy. very quote frankly the chinese are have less. we will do -- what we going to do with it? make it and america. get the $100 over here.
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[inaudible] >> i am a plumber with local 5 here in d.c.. i helped a lot of people here keep this university running. one of the reasons some of them backed up sometimes is because of what is happening on pennsylvania avenue. lines get too small. that is supposed to be a joke. >> you ought to come to my place. >> i will some time. unfortunately it happens here in -- at the university. however, looking at the whole situation, you are talking a lot about economics but congress has pretty much ignored the legislation of glass-steagall and none of them talk about this
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huge infrastructure project, four million jobs and the economy, why is it in the state that it is if congress is doing their job? i think the way you are thinking and the rest of the congress men are thinking is this type of thinking will permeate this british third world war. i think linden larouche is correct and most of congress is wrong. so i am wondering if you would rethink this thing about endorsing the impeachment of obama -- >> let me tell you something. you are going away confused. i don't want you to go away confused. i am for obama. i think obama has shown great
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courage and leadership. [applause] that is what makes our democracy so great. >> world wars are started. >> next question? >> my name is john. i had a question about your making it in america agenda. you talked about investing in high-tech energy. how exactly would you do that when we are concerned about reducing our deficit in this economy? >> remember mention the three commission's legal balsams and, dungee rivlin and the gang of 6? all of them agree on this premise, we must grow the economy and push short-term. if you cut spending significantly in the short-term you will clamped down economic growth. you will then be chasing your
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tail down a rat hole. unless you grow jobs you will not get revenue matter what your rates are. you have to have them work in order to get governments. as a result i believe that we need in the short term to make sure -- i am for the president's job growth but the fica tax decrease would not be my first choice. that is the only way to get a stimulus to the fact in a world of alternatives i will take the alternatives available but i would prefer to invest the same dollars in infrastructure. schools, i thought the plumber was going to say something else. i am interested in lyndon larouche mentioning glass-steagall which is not a
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bad focus. that is the answer to your question. >> thank you for your time. >> i feel the other questioners were intimidated by somebody. >> could i do a quick one? >> you do a quick one and got some up. >> the following question concerns our liberties. what is your stance on the new defense authorization bill sponsored by both fellow democrat carl levine and republican senator john mccain which will give the president and future presidents the authority to imprison citizens without charge or trial both abroad and inside the u.s.? what will you do as minority whip to fight this unconstitutional bill? >> during the bush said ministration i made it clear that i thought the suspension of habeas corpus even for
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non-citizens under this difficult scenario that confronts us, we are really not at war and these are not prisoners of war, they're not prisoners of war that you can take into custody. my father was finance officer of a pow camp. ss officers were prisoners of war. they would be released at the end of the war. interestingly enough there were a number that didn't want to go back to germany. having said that, i believe that habeas corpus of some type needs to exist in this kind of environment. let me explain why. let me explain to you why i'm explaining this because nowadays everybody has their phone and camera and take your phrases down and only one phrase and
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give the explanation. this is a complicated scenario, terrorists who come at us abroad to kill us and who are taken into custody and proof may be difficult. i don't think it is tenable for a nation that has principles of the united states of america to take people with the premise we can hold them indefinitely without there being some oversight of the person or persons who took those people into custody. let me tell you one thing i suggested as well. there is a debate going on i discussed with white house counsel and eric holder, the attorney general, why we could not in this constitutional issue, why we could not authorize a title 3 court, that if you were arrested and you arrested me incorrectly i could show the court that, you get a writ of habeas corpus to take
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you in front of the court which would make a determination whether the arresting of 40, they had a 40 or probable cause and therefore legally justified in all of this. i think there ought to be that procedure available to even terrorists. for instance we have domestic terrorists. we had a building burned down in oklahoma city killing hundreds of people, children, women and civilians and he was accorded constitutional rights. foreign terrorists are not due constitutional rights. they are not citizens. the crime was committed overseas. but america, not consideration for the terrorists but consideration of our own principles how we want to act what our expectations are if our citizens were taken into custody
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in some other nation. how you would want them to be treated. the answer to your question is we ought to have a type of habeas corpus proceeding available not necessarily exactly the same that we have here, not exactly the same criteria because after all we are at a war where the expression of the mentioned mahmoud ahmadinejad, we are not -- formally state aggression. this is individual aggression. terrorists aggression. it is not the same and therefore we need to think creatively how to meet our own principles, our own requirements, how we think we ought to handle ourselves as americans in this context. >> just to clarify. >> my answer or yours? >> to clarify the bill.
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-lease said what it was. real quick. basically the loss as for the first time that our homeland is part of the battlefield, meaning that if someone is a political dissident they could be detained without charge or trial. i honestly don't think giving up liberties is -- >> the interpretation of senator mccain's language being if you're a dissident, if you are and occupy wall street say i don't like the government or want the government change i don't believe the language you are referring to provides for what you think it does. i think what it is trying to provide is the difficult question and my answer to you was i am not sure i agree with that language. you understand that? i am not sure i agree with that
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language. >> it does clarify about that. you are running out of time so i will be respectful. >> you are too. >> hear what the candidate the same from the campaign trail. newly designed c-span website for campaign 2012. >> the third half is innovation and growth. ronald reagan was on the staff in the 1990s. >> young people like the ones here today including the ones who were just chanting at me, you are the reason i ran for office in the first place. >> every household was saved $2,500 a year under obamacare. i have not met one person from iowa who saved $2,500 a year on their health insurance premiums. it is going just the opposite. >> read the latest comments from candidates and political reporters and link to c-span's media partners in the early primary and caucus states at sea
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and -- you're watching c-span2 on politics and public affairs weekdays featuring live coverage of the u.s. senate. weeknights what key public policy events and every week and the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules that are website and join in the conversation on social media sites. >> on monday at a news conference in massachusetts congressman barney frank announced he would be retiring at the end of his current term. yesterday he held a news conference from capitol hill to talk about his decision. this is just under an hour. >> thank you.
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hi am just going -- it is real complicated and throw it wide open on the concept of my retirement. i had decided tentatively will last year that i would make this my last term. this will round up 40 years of elected office after doing my political work or somebody else's in october of 1967, one six months period off. i will take it easy. i don't -- have long had this desire to do some serious writing. as i mentioned yesterday are probably am at least tied for the longest trailing ph.d.
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thesis in the department and there are people who can do serious writing when they're doing other things. i can't. i am too easily distracted so i decided i would not run again. i did anticipate after one last time as chairman to turn my attention to a couple of issues are always wanted to deal with. my major concern in the committee but i got distracted among other things. i also would have been handling things like high-frequency trades and other issues and we lost the house. at the point at which we lost the house i change my mind. i thought about it and decided my commitment to a couple issues and another term being seen as undercut the house. there were two issues which i
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said at the time, one is trying to protect financial reform from being while away and the other is to recover the deficit reductions in military spending component because otherwise the hit on domestic programs would be too great. and it was to maximize my influence on those two things that i decided to run again. the personal preference of retiring at the end of this term and going on to do other things including writing and i look forward to a life of less work. much less stress and probably more money not from lobbying but from lecturing, writing etc.. and redistricting came out and i should be clear the problem with the district from my standpoint is it would be very time
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consuming. the reasons i decided to run again or maximize my ability to work on a military component of deficit reduction and financial reform is complicated. these are not easy issues. and military reduction because the pentagon keeps deciding which shell to be under. we need to work on these things. but i then confront a situation which 25,000 people would renew to the district i am representing. that is 75% of what i ran in. that is a lot of people. it would mean companion--campaigning pretty much knew time-full time in these districts. they're not automatic folks for me. i have become one of the great fund-raisers in congress in gross. last year raised an enormous amount of money. unfortunately only half of it
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was for me. have was for my opponent. running against me is good for your campaign fortune. i was ready to run again. and was looking at raising another couple million dollars which is the least attractive part of this job as far as i am concerned about the point is this. my principal would be not to run. a decided to support these two issues i. was committed to and it would make a difference in 5 was running again. and i confronted a situation where running again instead of giving me more credibility on these issues would be a series of interference with time commitment to do with the issues. what happened was the demands of the district meant the reasons i was going to run despite my personal preference no longer was operational. i decided not to run. i have to say -- for question
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about the weakness in that, i have struck by noticing in today's papers and there was one candidate who was going to run against me who was mitt romney's health commissioner and i had to say in massachusetts the services of the administration is not equivalent to -- i don't know. is not great. she did not appear to have -- i was running several other candidates and including incredibly the subpoena against the u.s. side who moved to pennsylvania. and now announced he was thinking of moving back from pennsylvania to run in my absence. apparently my absence from the race made the republicans think it was easier for them. as i said mark problem was i was going to run again so i could
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work on these issues and there was no way i could campaign. clearly -- i decided many years ago i will not be here when i am 75. the next term will end two months before my 75th birth day. that means i would be running for one more term. if you are talking about people you substantially represent that is an obstacle. i would then be required to go to 25,000 people some of whom i never represented in areas i have never been involved in and said to them here is the deal. why don't you elect me and for the next two years i will be there to receive your problems. by the way at the end of 2014 i am going to dump them. my constituency work, was not solved in two years or less and i would have had a hard time asking people to give me support
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for one short-term renewal. for all those reasons -- there is one side that is extra. not a major factor but i don't intend to leave public policy. i felt i was pretty good at the inside business and i always felt it was better -- unfortunately for a lot of reasons -- this place doesn't work as well as it used to and being good at the congressional process and getting things done on the inside doesn't mean as much to public policy. i will now be spending an increasing amount of time on the outside. at this point given the values i have trying to change the nature of the structure will be more productive. that is where we are and i will throw it open and take
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questions. >> you have been saying a lot of things -- in terms -- [inaudible] >> in this sense that i was the first person to volunteer. my colleague gary stoltz was first to acknowledge it. before gary a number of members of congress had been caught in sexual activity that would have led people to infer that they were gay. as i recall all of them announced they were too drunk to remember when they were doing which is an unusual description of one's capacity of two terms to remember things. i was first to acknowledge being gay and i did. i didn't do it when i was 47. i was not the daring young man
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on the flying trapeze. it worked out better than i thought. when it was out i went to the white house call and we did a number of things together are was scared to do. >> you said you don't intend to leave the advocacy of public policy you plan to be advocating for dodd-frank? >> among other things yes. i expect to spend my time doing some writing and lecturing, lecture feed the look good to me and that is the major thing and some college teaching. in all of these cases my focus will be on public policy. >> isn't the greatest danger to dodd-frank being piecemeal or is it dangerous -- >> the greatest and most significant danger is the election of a republican president who would be committed
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to try to dismantle it and appointing people who wouldn't administer it. it is a conflict. the republican presidential candidates worrying about the republican primary electorate from stealing it. almost all of them. rick perry can remember. the republican national committee has a different view so a piece of the republican national committee literature listed in front of those -- $150 to listen to your opinion. and fill out the questionnaire. they listed issues. they said which issues should we concentrate on? the environment? education? jobs? the economy? foreign policy? 13 issues. taxes? financial reform was not one of them.
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the republicans and even in the house they have not and -- advanced any major repeal. the danger now is they will interfere with implementation in two ways. there's nothing i can do about this. this outrageous destruction of the constitution by senate republicans who are announcing they will prefer nobody if they don't like the legislation. secondly the failure -- the republican insistence which democrats in the senate fight over probably overcome, not funding the cftc to deal with derivatives is outrageous. you have people criticizing the cftc for not doing more and then level funding them. they intend to keep up the argument for more of that. the greatest danger right now is the failure to confirm people who believe in this. >> congressman, as we now know,
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all of congress is not informed about roughly $7 trillion in below market rate loans that the fed gave to the largest -- of $13 billion -- doing that now, would you act on the federal reserve? what collateral were you demanding? >> the money has been paid back. yes it has. we will go through it. the money has been paid back. the fed has been unfairly demonized. its policies are helpful to the economy. they made money for the federal government and we did amend a section under which they did it but we did two things. we repealed section 13-3. it is interesting because we will never get it in writing but we have gone from being accused of not ending too big to fail to ending it too effectively and there are articles in the economist and elsewhere that we
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surprised officials of the ability for institutions of the economy in simulation to that extent but we did repeal section 13-3 which is the authority under which we did it and we put into the thought that any transaction between the federal reserve and any private entity at some point would be made public. we don't want to affect the market but that is made public so the federal reserve officials are engaged in transactions with private companies now know that that will be made public. we were fearing there was hanky-panky. >> you wouldn't do anything in the course of that program? would ask more specific questions what they read lending again soar -- >> we think it worked out well. we have -- i am sorry to disappoint you by having said we resolve the problem. our problems are better. we change the law. we change the law earlier if we were in power.
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i am in favor of what we did in that bill which was to require them to be made public. and conflict of interest. we have taken away the power they had to do it. i believe the federal reserve has been very helpful. the argument that it was inflationary has been proven and that is on the hole for government made money on it and quite soon the government will have made money on it. >> you yesterday said that newt gingrich's candidacy is a reward. >> i said it would be a reward. >> you thought was unlikely to get the nomination. can you expand on what you think it would be unlikely? >> i wasn't the kind of kid who didn't think i was going to get what i wanted. i tend not to be skeptical when i get really want. the republican president -- i must say when i saw the sunday
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edition of the union leader endorse newt gingrich are channeled my grandmother from my lips to god's years. it seemed to me given the freddie mac thing and marital difficulties and other issues find by the house of representatives it seemed unlikely but i am not an expert in this but the case for mitt romney is so strong, some of newt gingrich -- >> two questions. one very simple. if it would open at some point would you be interested in being had secretary? second of all would you expand on the systemic issues that make it difficult to change from within? talk a little bit about what you would do if you had the power to
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reshape the way congress works? >> first of all with regard to the secretary -- i did several years ago before obama directed me my hope was obama would get elected we would have four years under obama's presidency of democratic control and we could establish some new housing programs. what i said at the time is we would be able to establish new housing programs and i would like to administer them. it didn't work out. my biggest disappointment in my congressional career is as i became chairman and i always -- rental housing has been my major goal. with the financial crisis focusing -- the revenues were down. we couldn't do that. the reason i would like to have been secretary of hud would be programs that don't exist. secondly, having thought about
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it more, doubtful of my capacity to be a loyal member of somebody else's administration at this point in my career. after the systemic changes, first is the filibuster. there needs to be an assault on the filibuster. it is extraconstitutional. if you read the u.s. constitution not only is the filibuster not in it but the constitution in several places says you need two thirds of a vote to do something. it is a well-established who legal principle called the existence of the exception. the statement of exception proves the existence of a room where the exception is stated that means there is a rule. if it says no shopping on sunday than the rule is you can shop every other day. what we have here is the constitution in three case is unique two thirds vote for impeachment or to ratify a treaty. any legal interpretation means every other one is supposed to
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be a majority. the senate has an amendment that used to be the filibuster for great events. the notion that 60 is the new 51 is a serious flaw to effective government. it is interesting. the single biggest change i would make. the other change is not structural but political. people sometimes -- if you are in england they vote for the house of commons. they vote for the house of commons on wednesday and the leader of the group is the prime minister thursday and that is it. one election and you are in charge. in america thanks to james madison, separation of powers, you have a three elections governing the country at any one time. in 2006-2008-2010 that is when people were elected. that was the choice not to let any one election nominate.
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that is usually functional until fairly recently because there were differences but they were not sharp. what we got is maybe go back to the civil war. not in this respect but the sharp swing between the election of 2008, and 2010 meant you have people at odds with each other controlling chunks of the government under the constitution. that is resolvable politically. >> do you intend to endorse any candidate? >> not at this point. probably a lot of people who are friends and supporters running in the primaries. i expect what the democratic candidates -- if it turned out that there was a democrat with whom i greatly disagreed and the democrat with whom i very much agreed then i would but i don't foresee that. >> i was referring to house financial services. >> i am sorry. i don't want to get involved in
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that. that comes after me. i and a voter in my congressional district but not -- >> thinking back on your time, is there anything you learned about the banking industry going in that is a surprise to you? >> i learned a lot about the banking industry. a lot about before went on the committee. the extent to which there is activity that i would have pursued if i was here, profit generating for its own sake and related to the real economy. i carried this image that the intermediaries between people who have lots of money and those who want to use it productively. i was struck by the extent to which there is activity that is not helpful to the economy. >> two questions. if you will be leaving congress
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and what are the pieces of legislation you have been fighting for your entire time you are in congress and the employee nondiscrimination act will not be lost. can you talk a little bit about why that is the case? what will happen in the future? >> the only way to get any law passed that discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the democratic president and house and senate. rarely have we had that. we have had a democratic president and house and senate for four years out of the 42 i have been in congress. we had the first two years under bill clinton and the first two under barack obama. when bill clinton was president was too early in the evolution of public opinion. we got a couple things done in '93-'94 through bill clinton particularly the abolition of the prohibition on algae bt in security. that was by executive order.
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distinction was in the last two years. we had several things on the agenda. two of the three that were doable. appeals on that and the hate crimes bill. there was a crowded agenda. health care has something to do with it. the education labor committee was focused to a great extent on health care and there was this issue of trans gender inclusion. my old state of massachusetts i am pleased to say showed a way through that. some allied friends here about the dimensions of that. massachusetts legislature sign a bill prohibiting discrimination on people based on gender
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identity and sexual orientation. it does not include public accommodation. affords the whole issue of what happens in washington. that model, the massachusetts bill, i have sent people expect you to do better. i told people all along you have couples passing a bill seen as a liberal bill in massachusetts, maryland and new york why is it easier in south carolina, nebraska and wyoming? so i would say this. next time we have a democratic house and senate you can get that too. but given the polarization on this issue is the extent to which the republican party moved to unanimous or overwhelming positions with some exceptions in this. it will be the next time get a democratic house and senate. >> there's a chance depending on what happens in the election
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next year that they could see you as one openly gay or openly lgbt member of congress among the house. what do you think, would is your view overtime in congress on the importance -- >> no question legislating is the most personal form of government. we're dealing with each other -- very unusual thing legislating. nobody can fire anybody. these formal rules of hierarchy and personal factors mean a lot. voting in the abstract on an issue is one thing. telling someone with whom you had good personal relations that you think she is inferior is harder. and the knowledge base. if you believe we should be finishing the fight against discrimination, legal discrimination based on sexual orientation is important to have
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people who are gay or trans gender or lesbian in the mix. >> when you were thinking of staying, we think when you are born it is harder for democrats to push the line. >> not necessarily. it will be easier for this reason. the easiest chance to strangle something is in the early stages. once the bill is fully implemented two things will be developed. first of all some genuinely say the problem is uncertainty. some use the uncertainty to a >>s. to the extent people generally worry about uncertainty once that bill is fully implemented the uncertainty argument will cut against repealing. i believe the fears about it that some people expressed and others exaggerated for reality will show they were not true.
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once it is fully implemented, i think it will be. it makes it much harder for people to get rid of it. on the other hand if republicans and points -- a few thought. >> how much the security matter when determining chairmanship or something like that? >> the rules we have are pretty good. seniority is -- i think seniority should be in legal terms a very rebuttable assumption. a few things about legislating that is so personal. they do have rules to minimize conflict. i would say seniority, you start with seniority but shouldn't take an enormous amount of people to vote no. >> retirement and retirement and loss of the election of other senior committee chairman and democrats signaled changing of the guard in the democratic
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caucus? >> i'm not aware any other chairman are retiring. >> in the last election. >> most of them get beat. >> a couple retire before they get -- >> it is a constant thing. these things don't happen -- if you look at this continuity, there are older members. age is a factor. on the today show this morning, seemed sort of what can you be retiring for? i am 71. i don't know if she thought i was interviewing to be on 60 minutes. in most professions age is a factor. it was a different network. maybe that is why. it is constant. there are always senior members retiring or getting defeated or dying and new people coming in. i don't think there's any
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qualitative change. however i remember when we took over the house, time magazine said the old pols will not go to want young people. i knew it was nonsense. henry waxman didn't have a problem and i didn't have a problem and john conyers didn't. it wasn't true. people exaggerate that. there is no great generational change going on as part of the constant flow. >> you were asked by your personal investor about renewed focus about whether or not members decided -- [inaudible] -- such as the stock act. do you think current laws are adequate? >> the tv reporter for fox didn't just ask but implied i was being driven out because i was about to be exposed. in fact as a pointed out my own
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investments are in massachusetts municipal bonds. being accused of being too hard to be wedded to the defense of fiscal stability of the state represent would minimize accusations of hanky-panky. because the rating agencies unfairly rate them as if they were going to fail sometimes and pay more interest than they should. the rates are lower. are was frankly surprised to see that happen to the extent that it does. i wrote when they came out to spencer bacchus and asked for movement on the stock packed and moved on that. inside of trading the people who were the experts on the staff of the committee that i had were not insider-trading because people think -- much of the basis is that choice. it had to be redressed at some point. it would be a good idea to say that.
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to get some questions -- in 2008 when we were hearing this things, theppouestion would be f you were told somebody was going to help would be ok to go to the atf, some of those -- in general, anyway i was doing and we ought to make it legal to carefully define. >> you worked on legislation to ml,e it legal to gamble over the internet. how important is that to you at the time you have left and ultimately how do you see that being resolved? >> i think it is going to win. i believe in personal freedom. i will write an article. i am surprised my liberal friends who engage in this kind of censorship of gambling because they don't like it. would be disappointed if we got casino gambling. i think personal freedom is very important. i don't understand why -- that is why i am for it.
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a piece of revenue. is an important issue to me and i intend to work on it. senator rou d has indicated -- obviously nevada. co-sponsors of the legislation are myself and joe martin and john campbell. we talked to mary bono. i think there's a good chance something will happen. >> one part about implementation while you are still years oversight of investment advisers. what is your stand and chairman baucus to establish one or more self-regulatory -- ly> very skeptical of self-regulatory agencies. i would not want to detract at all olvom the responsibility -- part of it is a self-way. cometling augment. we have to have a private agency. in answer to that if public agencies have enough money particularly the fcc which is
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not given by the repselflicans spend the money it brings in, i amablery skeptical of selirmregulatory and it should e -- during the debate on the bill that was up and adopted and everybody said it was rescinded. i am not in favor of that. if people want to do stuff -- self-regulatory work that is one thing but i would not detract from the public regulatory responsibometity. ly> herne any thoom eners. anything about an f global's collapse and should congress be involved. >> it shows the importance of funding the ct. people voted not to fund the cftc who then criticized them for not doing an f publiobal.
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i am particularly interested in the extent to which the legislation and of developing. >> has jon corzine agreed to appear at that meeting? >> i don't know. >> can you assess why the legislation repeals in the independent payment advisory board? >> yes because i think we should not cut back on medical payments to providers for a couple reasons. i want to make medical care more efficient but i am against arbitrarily cutting the money. i think paying for decent medical care is a very important thing to do and the arbitrary cuts, i am skeptical of them.
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i will say how tragic it is to make republican intransigence led a truly great leader to leave government. a very smart and dedicated guy. he was working on how to make savings in ways to make things more efficient. people show me efficiencies i am informed by worry about the setbacks. was only to the providers. it is a great source of employment for the people. you start cutting back and you get people entering -- emptying bedpans at 2:00 in the morning. if you talk about that i will look at it. one thing i think we keep track of i am very skeptical about what a terrible thing about spending more money on medical care. people want that. a lot of people say we are not healthy and are will economize. when i am sick pamper me.
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that is a decent reason. secondly nothing in my life has improved in quality of the past 40 years remotely comparable to health care. the food i eat and clothes i wear the bet i sleep in on all that different but the health care is qualitatively different. we are paying for health care that wasn't available years ago. that doesn't count for all the cost but does -- we ought to be a little bit -- we should be significantly less quick to say it has gone to inflation. >> what changes would you make to dodd-frank now? >> there are a couple not so much changes in statute but some interpretations but not many significant ones. we made a couple small changes. we have a four year exemption on trust accounts. are will look at the
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affiliate's, enter affiliate's issue. i would have said if it was possible the new powers--should not refuse or confirm or anticipate that. >> why given the lockstep opposition of dodd-frank that house republicans have that with health care -- >> too popular. no question. there were three big issues from the last congress. healthcare, the environment and financial reform. of the three every indication additional financial reform, the notion, i don't see a bumper sticker that says let's regulate derivatives. the rnc send out a questionnaire and they had health care and the
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environment. the answer is financial reform is popular and there was too little delete -- too much regulation and the financial regulation is unpopular which is why they do that in the regular direction. >> on the funding issue is there anything democrats would do? with the president right the appropriation? >> democrats in the senate did their best. probably the subcommittee. the sec would do better because the republican subcommittee on the sec is better than the republican subcommittee in the cftc in the senate. it is to let people know, great -- i haven't met an audience anywhere that thinks it is a good idea to underfrom the cftc to regulate derivatives. i will use the december 15th hearing as the platform to talk
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about that. >> what all you think particularly the online media--the phenomenon you talked about being more difficult to legislate? >> i think the media has been problematic. first of all there is a negativei negativeism. the default position of the media is something crooked or corrupt is happening. the views that are told that i will express after i left office or now the are not a candidate anymore will be less challenging because i'm candidate and must be self interested. there is too much cynicism in that. guidance yesterday asked me -- a great inconsistency because the way i reacted to something that was much more unfavorable in 1982 and react to this one. how can you -- let me explain why in making a career choice it was differently when i was 41 then when i am 71.
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i would have thought when i'm 30 years younger there would be an explanation about what my career choice would be. i said this before. here's one of the problems. there's a problem of excessive negativei negativeism. good news is not good news or is not news and people tend to look for the bad motives. i am often asked by reporters if i have anything bad to say about something. if i don't i don't get quoted. sometimes i have bad things to say about the reporter and i particularly don't get quoted. the media situation is this. i know that -- i am told there are a lot of people who are frustrated we don't compromise more and they want us to compromise. i said the fact that there are a lot of them out there. i wish they had telephoned and e-mail because they are holding themselves incommunicado. we don't hear from them. when you get specific issues you hear from people on either side. here's the deal.
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the most-active people in the country, the people who communicate with their members of congress live in parallel in a purses. watching certain bloggers and ms nbc and fox news and talk show people and not simply that they have different opinions. we have this old saying you're in title to your own opinion but not your own fact. the activists have their own facts. they do not have the activists on the left and right the common source of information so when you go to compromise. the argument is not that you have given in too much or could have a better bargainer. it is you should not have compromised at all because you represent the majority. i have people who don't believe we have the vote for a single payer and don't artist and one we did hold out. everyone they talk to is for it. everything they read says it is a good thing. that is true on the right. that is a serious problem.
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the most activist television believe their side is the majority on every issue and therefore reject the whole notion of compromise. it gets to the point weather is a good deal or not. >> what advice would you give to members of the 115th congress? >> depends on who gets elected. with a lot of people -- they don't want to be effective legislators in the sense of improving government. if you have a negative view of government, i guess i would say to people in the 113th, don't take all the activists exactly at their word. when they tell you how dare you compromise you have to be willing to call their bluff on some issues. that i think is a major thing to do. not to be as influenced by that.
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and recognize there are a lot of people out there who are not sending those e-mails and appealed to them. we are sure of that and running. >> republicans are calling your retirement -- seeing your retirement as being you wouldn't have gone your chairmanship back after the 2012 election. are you confident if you had run again you would have gotten that chairmanship back? >> i don't know. you are not supposed to say we're going to win. i said to some of the u.s. this questions, giving you a straight answer we're going to win. i don't know. i don't think anybody knows. it depends. if newt gingrich could be the nominee we wouldn't have. [laughter] would europe have settle its differences without a crisis? the economy would be on an uptrend. is ready for that. not only don't we know but the answer is not yet out there.
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sometimes you can nobody is wide open. to me i will be honest. in personal terms i am almost -- i would have a hard time taking on the chairmanship the year from now and working to the chairmanship for two years because how do we get the chairmanship back? i do not think we will have the unusual circumstance of having enough senators to break a filibuster. i don't think you will have workable majorities. i think it is possible we will get a democratic majority. i don't think we will see a workable congressional majority for the next two years in the house and senate. >> inga redistricting issue are you confident democrats will hold on to your seat or republican could take it? >> i am confident they will take
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it or hold it. i did notice that. a number of republicans in newspapers in -- announcing they're thinking about running. i would have been elected -- i am not a congenital optimist. i won 20 times. fifteen breezy. five were times when i was either is the underdog or there was uncertainty. i didn't think i was going to win. i have never been overly optimistic about these things. but it goes back to what i am saying before. in massachusetts there was one candidate the republicans nominate who in massachusetts is as unpopular as newt gingrich, mitt romney. he went out of massachusetts very unpopular. a large part of the district -- in southeast massachusetts where he was especially unpopular.
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i think given the presidential year of the democrats look good to hold the seat. >> are you saying you are not endorsing the ranking member? >> at this point i am not. >> you might in the future? >> absolutely. >> what is your view of the european situation? how dangerous are we right now? anything the u.s. can do? >> one i can answer and what i won't. it is clear the deterioration in europe has held that -- go to the last quarter of 2009 and first quarter of 2010 and we are on the upswing. knocked america back. we have been suffering. did a much better job dealing with our crisis and try to come out at the european crisis held us back in a number of ways. things are starting the upswing again. if there is a serious disaster in europe that has a negative
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effect. we believe the american descriptions are well prepared to deal with this unless everything falls apart. it will be well collateralized. >> we are going to leave the last couple minutes of this press conference with retiring congressman barney frank. reminder you can see this in its entire deal online at the u.s. senate about to gavel in to start their day. more work expected of fiscal year 2012 defense program. lawmakers will take a procedural vote to move the bill forward at 11:00 a.m. this morning. 60 votes are required for that. now live to the senate floor on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer.
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the chaplain: let us pray. holy, holy, holy, lord god of hosts, heaven and earth are filled with your glory. lord, you have given us the hope that your kingdom shall come on earth. help us to see the signs of its dawning, as we labor for liberty may the work and deliberations of our lawmakers so reflect the nature of your coming kingdom that people will be filled with faith. increase our hunger and thirst for righteousness, and feed us
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with the bread of heaven. lord, empower us all to work for that perfect day when your will shall be done on earth as it is in heaven. we pray in your sacred name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington d.c., november 30, 2011.
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to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable kristen e. gillibrand, a senator from the state of new york, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: following leader remarks the senate will be in morning business until 10:30 this morning. following morning business the senate will resume consideration of s. 1867. the filing deadline for second-degree amendments to the defense bill is 10:30 a.m. today. at about 11:00 there will be a cloture vote on 1867. it's my understanding the vote will be at 11:00. is that right, madam president? the presiding officer: the senator is correct. mr. reid: not about 11:00 it will be at 11:00. we'll continue work through the pending amendments. senators levin and mccain are the managers of this bill.
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senators will be notified when votes are scheduled. madam president, there was a little void here from 10:30 till the vote. that will be debate time on the motion to invoke cloture on the defense bill. madam president, the republicans love to talk about taxes. they like them low. we like them high. or so they would have you believe. by that logic, republicans ought to be lining up to support our payroll tax legislation. democrats propose we cut taxes for 116 million americans and
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every single business in our country. an average american family would save about $1,500. yet, republicans have appeared out of the wood work to oppose our plan. they don't like these particular tax cuts because they're paid for with a small 3.25% surtax on people making more than $1 million a year. but we've learned republicans only care about keeping taxes low for every -- for a very small group of people. this small group is the richest of the rich. so here's the contrast. on one side you have democrats fighting to cut taxes for 160 million americans who make an average of less than $30,000 a year. on the other side, you have republicans fighting to keep taxes low for fewer than 350,000 people who take home more than $3 million every year. the contrast: 160 million americans who make an average of
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less than -- make less than $30,000 a year. on the other side, republicans are fighting to keep taxes low for the richest of the rich. 350,000 people who make more than $3 million a year. what's worse, the republicans get their way, if they're able to give the richest of the rich a pay increase in effect, taxes will actually increase by about $1,000 a year for 120 million american families. every american family will have $1,000 less to spend on food, clothing and diapers next year except that 350,000 people. and so republicans can continue to try to pick people -- protect people who earn an average of $3 million a piece. we're not going to do that, madam president, not in today's economy. in other words, republicans are
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increasing taxes on nearly every american family to protect people who make an average of $37,500 a week. far more than most americans make in a year. you can take nevada, you can take kentucky. take kentucky, home of my friend, the republican leader. there, 2.1 million middle-class workers would be hit with a tax increase if republicans block our proposal. in nevada we have fewer people than kentucky, but the same basically applies in nevada. but in nevada and in kentucky, kentucky specifically, 1,345 kentuckians earn an average of $3.5 million each, each year will be protected thanks to the efforts of senate republicans. so why would republicans throw 92% of american families under
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the bus, whacking them with a tax increase beginning january 1 to protect the richest of the rich? why would they do that? it certainly sounds like political suicide, not to mention shockingly callous policy. so one might assume there is a compelling reason for republicans to stake out this seemingly indefensible ground to take the side of the top .2% of the american earn erstwhile raising taxes on -- earners while raising taxes on 160 million others. here's the reason: they say they want to protect job creators. of course that claim is laughable on its face. our bill would cut taxes literally for every business in america. and 90% of these companies, these firms, including virtually every small business, would cut payroll taxes in half, from 6.2% to 3.1%. i could quote virtually every
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member of the republican caucus, all 47 of them, singing the praises of small businesses to create jobs because they've come at various times during this year and previous years to talk about small businesses, what good they do for america. and i agree with that. but you won't get disagreement from democrats. that's why our bill cuts taxes for every small business in america, including 50,000 firms in nevada. yet, legislation will cut taxes for 92% of american families and every single business in the nation without adding a penny to the deficit, may not get a single republican vote because it will cost a few incredibly prosperous, rich americans about two weeks of pay. and to top it all off, republicans know the tax increases they're foisting on middle-class families would be devastating for our economy. the economic policy institute has stated that this republican
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tax hike will reduce g.d.p. by $128 billion and cost almost a million jobs. 972,000, to be exact. that would send our economy back into a tail speurpbgs and it's impossible to tell -- tailspin, and it's impossible to tell how long would be our recovery. republicans often say we can't afford to raise taxes on the top .2% of american taxpayers. so i ask how can we afford a tax increase on 92% of american families? mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i know my good friend, the majority leader, may have been a little busy the last 24 hours. maybe he missed the news. reuters says u.s. senate republicans back payroll tax cut extension. the "wall street journal" says g.o.p. set to back payroll tax
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cut. i.b.d. says g.o.p. open to payroll tax cut. u.s. news, mitch commonly says congress -- mitch mcconnell says congress will likely extend tax cut for one more year. working on alternative proposal for payroll tax cut extension. "the washington post," majority of republicans likely to back payroll tax extension. and fox news republicans back payroll tax extension. madam president, this is not an argument about whether or not we ought to extend the payroll tax cut that was enacted last year for one year. the issue is how do you pay for that. and we have differences of opinion about that. this week, as we all know, the senate is debating the extension of a temporary payroll tax cut the two parties agreed to last year to help those struggling in a bad economy. but before getting into any detail about the various
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proposals that are being considered for extending this temporary tax cut, i think it's important to establish a couple of things right here at the outset. first, the debate we're having this week is not about whether to extend this temporary leave for millions of working americans out there who are struggling as a result of the ongoing jobs crisis. it's about whether we should help those who are struggling in a bad economy by punishing the private-sector businesses that the american people are counting on to help turn this economy around. the president and democrats here in congress are saying we ought to recoup the revenue we won't get from one group of taxpayers by socking it to another group. a significant number of whom happen to be employers. what this really means is that one way or another they want the money coming back to washington so that the president and his allies in congress can divvy it up how they want, protecting and
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aiding the politically favored few. and this really sums up the whole story of this president and the economic policies he's promoted over the past few years. send your money to washington so the president and his allies in congress can spend it their way on things like turtle tunnels or bailing out politically connected investors at failing solar companies. the democrats can say they just want some people to pay a little bit more to cover this or that dubious proposal, but what they don't tell you is that 80% of the people they want to tax are business owners. in other words, the very people we're counting on to create the jobs that we need in this country. think about that. the democrats' response to the jobs crisis we're in right now is to raise taxes on those who create the jobs. and this isn't just counterproductive. it's absolutely absurd.
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and that brings me to my second point, which is this: the only reason we're talking about extending a temporary cut in the payroll tax right now, the only reason we're even talking about extending unemployment insurance right now is because president obama's economic policies have failed working americans. democrats and liberal pundits are fond of saying that republicans are rooting against the economy. but it's easy to refute that one. if republicans wanted the economy to stall, we'd just stand on the sidelines and wave through everything the president and his democratic allies in congress propose. that's what the democrats did for two years, the first two years of the president's term. and now we're living with the results. unemployment is still stuck at around 9%. 14 million americans are looking for work and can't find it. millions more are underemployed or have given up on finding a
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job altogether. and here we are three years into this presidency, still talking about temporary stimulus measures. so republicans will put aside their misgivings and support this extension not because we believe, as the president does, that another short-term stimulus will turn this economy around, but because we know it will give some relief to struggling workers out there who continue to need it nearly three years into this presidency. americans shouldn't have to suffer any more than they already are for the democrats' failed economic policies. republicans reject the idea that the way to help people is for the government to write them a check every once in a while or adjust their pay stub at a time of our choosing. we think it's the time to get past the idea that government should be the sole arbiter of people's futures and livelihoods. we need to get government out of the business of picking winners and losers, and that's why republicans think the real
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answer is broad-based tax reform that clears out the deductions and the loopholes and the special carveouts for those who are rich enough or politically connected enough to benefit from them. if you are a small business owner, we don't think you should have to have an army of tax lawyers on staff to figure out how to keep your business profitable and your employees on the payroll. if you're an individual, you shouldn't have to hire an accountant to keep from getting ripped off by the i.r.s. we think americans are ready for tax reform that makes the system fair for everybody, that levels the playing field so people and small businesses can compete without having to beg for favors or beg for loopholes, and we're going to keep pressing for it, and part of that is looking beyond these temporary stimulus measures. let's be very clear about this.
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the democrats' quick-fix approach has failed. nearly three years have passed since democrats passed the mother of all stimulus bills, and we have got 1.3 million fewer jobs in this country than we had when the president signed it into law, and yet they are still at it. republicans in the house have passed an avalanche of legislation aimed at liberating the private sector and getting the economy growing again. it all dies at the senate door. democrats just aren't interested. with democrats in control of two-thirds of the government in washington, all we get is more temporary stimulus and calls to raise taxes on the very people we're counting on to jolt this economy back to life, and that's why we're standing here three years into this administration, still talking about temporary stimulus measures paid for by
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permanent tax hikes. temporary stimulus measures paid for by permanent tax hikes. democrats don't just seem interested in doing anything that will lead to economic growth. they are stuck on stimulus. they are stuck on government. they are stuck on economic policies that have already failed. so we're not arguing against extending the payroll tax cut. we just think it shouldn't be punishing job creators to pay for it, and we think that if this kind of temporary relief engineered at some lawmakers' whim is the sum and substance of democrats' plan for getting this economy going again, we're really in trouble. the american people don't want a temporary allowance from democrats here in washington. they want us to get out of the way, lift the burdens to growth so they can get this economy
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going. that's why republicans are proposing a very different approach to paying for this extension. we can maintain this tax relief without raising taxes on job creators. if past experience shows us anything, it's that washington will only spend every dime it gets and then some anyway. we need to find a solution that doesn't give more power to washington. we'll never get this economy going again or help people create the wealth and jobs that america needs if we continue to allow washington to dictate all the rules of the game when it comes to our economy. and at the end of the day, at the end of the day, the real question in this debate isn't whether lawmakers in washington should or shouldn't extend some temporary stimulus, but whether the american people should continue to allow washington to have so much power over their
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lives. that's what this debate is really about. mr. reid: would the chair announce the business of the day? the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved. under the previous order, the senate will now be in a period of morning business until 10:30 a.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. mr. reid: i now, madam president, move to proceed to calendar numbered 238. that's s. 1917. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 238, a bill to create jobs by providing payroll tax relief for middle-class families and businesses, and for other purposes. mr. reid: madam president, i have a cloture motion at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: we, the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the motion to proceed to calendar number 238, s. 1917, a bill to create jobs
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by providing payroll tax relief for middle-class families and businesses, and for other purposes, signed by 17 senators as follows -- reid of nevada, casey, reed of rhode island, durbin, feinstein, levin, bingaman, murray, leahy, conrad, whitehouse, cardin, boxer, franken, baucus, menendez and lieberman. mr. reid: i ask consent that the mandatory quorum under rule 22 be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i now withdraw my motion to proceed. the presiding officer: the motion is withdrawn. mr. reid: madam president, sunday on one of the sunday shows, the assistant leader, the republican whip, my friend, the senior -- junior senator from arizona, indicated that republicans wouldn't support the withholding tax proposal we had made. monday that was what the senate leadership said here today. so i'm very happy there has been
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a conversion and now they agree to support it. but be careful. remember, they are very clever and unclear on how they want this paid for. one republican senator said he didn't want it paid for, and that, in fact, has been the standard mantra of the republicans. tax cuts should not have to be paid for. the bush tax cuts amounting to trillions of dollars were not paid for, and that's, of course, one reason, madam president, we have this huge, huge problem with the deficit. i think we also have, madam president, to recognize that one thing our country lacks is confidence and one reason -- there are a lot of reasons, but one reason the country lacks confidence is people are either talking about how bad the economy is doing. it is doing very poorly, and i recognize that. but we have had growth over the last many months. is it as significant?
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of course not, but we have a growing economy. that is to say my friend, the prior president, president bush, we had no growth there. that was downhill. during those eight years, madam president, we took a -- this country had a -- when he came into office, a surplus of trillions of dollars. that was taken away with not paying for all these tax cuts, the unpaid war in iraq, the unpaid war in afghanistan, and at least eight million jobs were lost. so we are trying to work our way out of that, and we work very hard. my friend talks about the stimulus bill, the economic recovery act. madam president, let's just talk about something i know a lot about in the state of nevada. but for that bill, the state of nevada, which is very, very hard hit with the economic recovery, a state that for two decades has been the number-one place in america to come to start a
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business, to get a job, to buy property, that's no longer the case. that is no longer the case. but the stimulus bill has kept the schools open, has allowed people on medicaid to continue getting some help, and we have had, because of that bill, thousands and thousands of jobs created with solar projects, geothermal projects all over the state of nevada. is it enough? of course not, but let's start building some confidence and allowing people who have -- these companies have trillions of dollars, trillions of dollars. let's have them start spending some of it, creating jobs. we're for tracks reform. i agree with my friend, the republican leader, we should have tax reform. it's important, because the tax code is not working, it's
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helping the wrong people, and we look forward to doing what we can to work that out. we were hoping -- i was hoping that in the super committee that we had that one of the things they would have is give instructions to the ways and means committee and the finance committee to come up with some tax reform that would be meaningful and building the economy even more than we could ever dream, and a lot of that can be done with tax reform, so i acknowledge that. mr. president, we here look forward to working with my friends on the other side of the aisle. they say they are in favor of now extending withholding, that we know that that's created lots of jobs, and we were glad they are going to do that, but i repeat, let's be very careful how it's paid for. the american people believe we should pay for it the way that
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we have suggested. the only people in the world that don't think it should be paid for in the way we have suggested are republicans in the senate. all the polls show that the vast, vast majority of americans believe that the richest of the rich should contribute a little bit to bringing this country out of the economic problems that we have. so i would hope that we can move forward. we're going to have a cloture vote on this matter soon. we have got to get work through this very important defense bill which is to take care of our troops. one of the managers of that, of course, is someone we look to for guidance with military matters, and that's john mccain who, as we know, is a certified war hero. when that's finished, we'll work this out on the payroll tack. i hope that prior to the cloture vote having taken place and being necessary, that we'll have some agreement on how to move forward on this because we have a lot of other things to do before the end of this year.
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there are other tax issues that are extremely important that traditionally have been completed before the end of a year like we're in right now. mr. mcconnell: madam president. the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: the last time my good friend, the majority leader, had a discussion on the floor, he reminded everyone that he would have the last word, and of course since he has prior recognition to me, he can get the last word if he chooses to. i will just remind him that at the outset, he will get the last word if he chooses to. i will not fight for the last word, but i will make this point with regard to the observations of my good friend. you have just heard essentially the argument going into next year's election. argument number one is it could have been worse. now, that's an inspiring message to take to the american people. it could have been worse. you also heard argument two. the second argument goes essentially like this. after being in the
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administration -- after being the administration in power for three years, it's -- number one, it's george bush's fault. among other causes of our current dilemma that have been cited by the president and others, in addition to the previous administration, it was the tsunami in japan, it's the european debt crisis. of course, it's the republicans in congress. it's those millionaires. it's those people in wall street. in short, madam president, it's everybody's fault but ours. and that is the argument you're left with when you're going into an election year, facing the american people, and you have got nothing else to say. people don't think the stimulus worked. people don't like obamacare. they don't like dodd-frank. there is absolutely nothing in
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terms of positive accomplishment that our good friends can cite. thus, the argument, it's anybody's fault but mine. so it will be an interesting discussion going into next year, but it strikes me that our job here in the senate is not to frame-up campaign arguments on a weekly basis but actually try to get something done. as my friend indicated, there are things that need to be done before the end of this year. the defense authorization bill that we will finish this week, the appropriation bills in one way or another, either a combination of them or a continuing resolution, each of them through the end of the next fiscal year. we have tax extenders, we have the doc-fix. we have the completion, in spite of the exercise we'll engage in tomorrow, with two approaches to continuing the payroll tax extension. i have already indicated an
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overwhelming majority of republicans think it should be extended, and so we'll have to figure out how to package that and actually accomplish something, not just come out here on the floor and score political points, but actually accomplish something for the american people on things like unemployment insurance, things like extension of the payroll tax reduction enacted a year ago, things like the doc-fix. these are the kinds of things that actually have to be done. and the more time we spend on the floor with the political messaging votes, the less time we have to do what the american people sent us here to do. so i'll be working with my friend, the majority leader. we work together every day. when you get past the political speeches and the showboats, there are things that need to be done, and we will be working together to get those accomplished before christmas. mr. reid: madam president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i tkpwraep with virtually -- i agree with virtually everything the
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republican leader said. i do think the presidential election will be based on what took place in the bush administration, how we tried to recover from that, how things have been exacerbated because of the tsunami and european debt crisis. but i also agree wholeheartedly with my friend that we need to work together, the rest of this congress. it's difficult to do, but we need to set aside presidential politics and work in our sphere as legislative leaders to try to work and move this country along. so i look forward and i appreciate the constructive remarks of my friend.
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the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: what's the parliamentary? the presiding officer: we're in a quorum call. mr. mccain: i prove to suspend proceedings. the presiding officer: morning
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business is closed. the senate will resumes s. 1867 which the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 1867 for fiscal year 2012. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the time until 11:00 a.m. will be divided and controlled between the senator from michigan, mr. levin and the senator from arizona,mr. mccain, or their designees. mr. mccain: i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. mccain: madam president, i suggest we suspend the proceedings on the quorum call. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: i'd like to say to my colleagues that we have been waiting approval of a manager's package of amendments that have been cleared by both sides. it is not a manager's package. it's simply a group of amendments that have been proposed by members on both sides of the aisle, approved, no one has objected, and yet there are objections to moving forward with the -- with these amendments in a package. there are important amendments by members on both sides, and i would urge my colleagues to -- who would object to moving
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forward with these -- this package of amendments which have been agreed to by both sides and there has been no objection voiced to them individually, that i would like to move to adopt those shortly before the quorum call at -- excuse me, the vote on cloture at 11:00. and if someone objects to that, then i would insist that they come over to the floor and object. that is the procedure that we will follow that i'd like to inform my colleagues. in other words, we have a group of amendments. they have been cleared by both sides, no one objects, and yet there seems to be an objection to moving forward with a group of amendments that has already all been agreed to. so according to parliament
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rules, i will insist that a member be here present to object when i move forward with the package shortly before the hour of 11:00. anyone watching in the offices, please inform your senator of that decision. the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: madam president, just to reinforce something that the senator from arizona said, these are amendments that there is no objection to on the substance. i mean, we have worked very hard, working with all the senators to clear amendments, and that process will continue after the cloture vote as well. we now have this group, we have worked very hard on it. we have no objection. if there were an objection, they wouldn't be in a clear package. we know of no objection, none have been forthcoming, they have been here for a day or two now,
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and the senate really needs to work its will. this is the way we should be operating. if there is no objection to an amendment, people have had a chance to look at it, they have been cleared on both sides, any committee of jurisdiction that has an interest has been talked to and that's been taken care of, and this is it seems to me the right way to proceed, and i wanted to just commend senator mccain for what he just said and join with him in that sentiment. the bill that we have before us that we will be voting cloture on at about 11:00 would authorize $662 billion for national defense programs. this is $27 billion less than the president's budget request. it's $43 billion less than the amount appropriated for fiscal year 2011. we have been able to find savings without reducing our strong commitment to the men and women of our armed forces and their families, without undermining their ability to
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accomplish the mission that we have assigned to them that they handle so remarkably bravely and consistently, and so we have identified, scrubbed this budget to find those savings, and the bill that we will be voting cloture on and hopefully adopting cloture reflects those savings. because of our action last night on the counterfeit parts amendment, the bill now contains important new provisions to help fight the tide of counterfeit electronic parts, primarily from china that is flooding the defense supply chain. i went through the provisions last night and i won't repeat them here other than to say that we are taking strong action to make sure that the parts that are provided to our weapons systems are new parts as required and are not counterfeit parts. there is a number of steps in this bill. they are effective and strong steps. we require, for instance, that parts that are being supplied
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come from the original manufacturer of those parts or an authorized distributor of those parts, or if that's not possible because the parts are no longer being manufactured, there is no authorized distributor, that whoever is supplying those parts be certified by the department of defense the way they currently are by one part of the department of defense, the missile defense agency as being a reliable supplier. we have had too many cases of missiles and of airplanes that have defective parts on them. the lives of our people in uniform depend upon these parts being quality parts, and we're not going to accept the status quo any more in terms of counterfeiting, mainly from china, and we're taking this strong action in this bill now following last night's action to make sure that this status quo is reversed. we have over 96,000 u.s.
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soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines on the ground in afghanistan. we have 13,000 as we speak remaining in iraq. there are many issues upon which we disagree, but every one of us knows that we must provide our troops with the support that they need and deserve as long as they are in harm's way. and senate action on the defense bill will improve the quality of life for our men and women in uniform, it will give them the tools that they need to remain the most effective fighting force in the world, and it will also send a critically important message that we as a nation stand behind our troops and their families, and we appreciate their service. so i hope that we can adopt a cloture motion which is before us so that we can proceed to the postcloture period where we can then resolve the remaining amendments that can be resolved,
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and then pass this bill hopefully tomorrow. we have a lot of work to do today and tomorrow. we have got many dozens of amendments yet to be voted on, disposed of, hopefully cleared in many cases. with that, i would yield the floor. i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: madam president, the following amendments have been cleared by myself -- the presiding officer: the senate is currently in a quorum call. mr. levin: i thank the presiding officer. i ask unanimous consent that further proceedings under the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: madam president, as we've indicated, we've cleared a number of amendments on both sides, working with many, many members. there will be an additional package after this one. we're going to continue to try to clear amendments. we expect that we will. we know of no objection to any of the following amendments despite there being available for resraoufplt. 10 -- review 1066, 1102 on
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behalf of senator ayotte. 1122 on behalf of senator shaheen. 1129 on behalf of senator reid of nevada. 1130 on behalf of senator reid of nevada. 1132 on behalf of senator mccain. 1149 as modified by changes at the desk on behalf of senator begich. 1162 and 1164, 1165 and 1166 on behalf of senator warner. 1167 as modified by changes at the desk on behalf of senator warner. 1178 as modified by changes at the desk on behalf of senator murray. 1180 as modified by changes at the desk on behalf of senator collins. 1183 as modified by changes at the desk on behalf of senator sessions. 1207 on behalf of senator
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coburn. 1215 as modified by changes at the desk on behalf of senator casey. 1228 on behalf of senators mccain and portman. 1237 on behalf of senator shaheen. 1240 on behalf of senator warner. 1245 and 1250 on behalf of senator mccain. 1266 on behalf of senator warner. 1276 on behalf of senator baucus. 1280 on behalf of senator mccain. 1298 on behalf of senators webb and graham. 1303 on behalf of senators levin and mccain. 1315 on behalf of senator hatch. 1317 on behalf of senator portman. 1324 on behalf of senator cochran. 1326 on behalf of senator risch. 1332 on behalf of senators lieberman and cornyn.
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mr. mccain: i concur. i move the package. mr. levin: i understand they have been cleared -- mr. mccain: cleared on this side. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: i ask consent the senate consider these amendments en bloc, that the modifications at the desk be adopted, the amendments be agreed to and the motion to reconsider be laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: i thank the presiding officer. i thank all of our colleagues for their cooperation. i thank senator mccain and our staffs. we're going to continue to work to clear additional amendments following the cloture vote. we're now voting on cloture. we all, as leaders, the managers, of course hope this will pass. mr. mccain: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: i'd like to say i'd like to thank my colleagues for allowing this package, these amendments to go through. we will be working on additional amendments that we can agree to. we're about to vote on cloture. and if cloture is invoked, i'd like to inform my colleagues, those amendments that are pending and filed, they will be
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eligible for votes. we will be using the chronology of when they were filed and we'll be notifying every member that has an amendment that is filed and pending and germane -- and germane. filed, pending and germane. and we will try to arrange time agreements. those tha*pts that want votes -- those that want votes. and we will be looking to see also areas where we can agree and adopt an additional package. it's my understanding that if cloture is invoked, we'll have 30 hours. during that period, we would like to get these amendments resolved. i will remind my colleagues that if the 30 hours expires and there is still pending germane filed amendments, that there will have to be additional votes taken at some time after the 30 hours. so i would urge my colleagues who have filed pending germane
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amendments that we sit down during the cloture vote or just afterwards and try and arrange a schedule of votes that is most convenient for them in keeping with their schedule. again, i want to thank my colleagues for allowing that package to go through. those are very important amendments which have been agreed to by both sides. and i realize we have a long way to go, but this is a significant step forward. i yield the floor. mr. levin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from michigan. mr. levin: the only additional suggestion i would have is that as members come here that have amendments that are both pending and germane, assuming we get cloture, they could check with us, either side here, to see where they are on the chronology so they'll get a feel as to where they are. because we are going to attempt to move down the chronology as amendments were made pending. and, madam president, i have four unanimous consent requests for committees to meet during
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today's session of the senate. they have the approval of the majority and minority leaders. i ask unanimous consent that these requests be agreed to and that these requests be printed in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. levin: and i thank all of our colleagues for their cooperation. and i understand the vote will now take place. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate move to bring to a close debate on s. 1867, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012, signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is is it the sense of the senate that debate on s. 1867, the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2012 shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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the presiding officer: on this vote the yeas are 88, the nays are 12. three-fifths of the senate having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. a senator: madam chairman. the presiding officer: the senator from nebraska. mr. nelson: i ask unanimous consent that stef knee peterson, an air force major be granted the privilege of the floor during debate on s. 1867. the presiding officer: without objection. knell i want to begin my comments today on this year's national defense authorization act by thanking all the members of the strategic forces subcommittee. and i would especially like to thank the subcommittee's ranking member, senator sessions, for the close working relationship that we have shared. it's always a pleasure to work
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with my friend from alabama. the annual national defense authorization act is one of the most important pieces of legislation congress passes every year, and this year marks what i hope will be the passing of a defense authorization act for the 50th year in a row. madam president, i'd like to give my colleagues a brief overview of the provisions in the national defense authorization act we're considering today as they relate to the strategic forces subcommittee. the jurisdiction of the subcommittee includes missile defense, strategic forces, space programs, intelligence programs, cybersecurity, the defense-funded portions of the department of energy and the defense nuclear facilities safety board. in preparing the provisions in the bill that relate to the areas of our jurisdiction, the subcommittee held six hearings on defense programs at the department of energy, strategic nuclear forces, missile defense, and space programs at the
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department of defense and implementation of the new start treaty. the subcomm -- subcommittee's provisions were adopted in a bipartisan manner. i again want to thank senator sessions, the ranking member and his staff and the professional staff on the armed services committee for the close work we have enjoyed with them working on the hearings and preparing this bill. our committee overseas the nuclear strategic forces, and as many know u.s. strategic command in my home state of nebraska is charged with our nation's nuclear deterrence. it's important to note that this bill strengthens and improves our nation's nuclear command and control of all of the missions that fall under u.s. stratcom by providing the full authorization for a new command and control complex. a reliable and assured command control and communication from the president to the nuclear forces is fundamental to our strategic deterrent and the new command and control complex at offett air force base in nebraska will provide this mission surety.
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in the area of missile defense, we funded the program at $10.1 billion, including the full $1.2 billion requested by the ground-based mid course defense system. we have also included a provision that would set forth the sense of this congress that it's essential for the ground-based mid course defense system to achieve the levels of reliability, availability, sustainability and operational performance necessary to ensure that the united states remains protected. the bill also supports the development and deployment of the european fazed adaptive approach, epaa, to missile defense. this is the u.s. missile defense program to defend our military forces and nato allies in europe from iranian missile threats. the defense department has nearly completed phase one of the epaa with an aegis ballistic missile defense b.m.d. ship now
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patrolling the mediterranean and a missile defense radar now located in turkey. the united states also successfully negotiated the agreements with poland and romania to deploy land-based aegisb.m.d. systems in their countries in future phases of the epaa. the committee also made a few new funding adjustments in the new bill to reflect the fact of life changes since the armed services committee markup of its earlier bill s. 1258. for example, the recent flight test failure of the ballistic missile defense system with the standard missile three block i.b. interceptor means that the program will have a substantial delay before it can begin procurement. the program will also need additional research and development funds to fix the flight test problems. so the bill adjusts the funding to permit such fixes. in addition, the terminal high altitude area defense or thad system has experienced slower
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production than expected and will not be able to use all the funds planned and requested in the budget. consequently, the bill adjusts the funding accordingly. in mid-2009, secretary gates directed u.s. strategic command to stand up u.s. cybercommand as a sub unified command. the command reached the full operational capability a year ago. since that time, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff characterized cyberwarfare as one of the two, quote, existential threats to america and a former director of national intelligence publicly proclaimed his belief that adversaries could take down the nation's power grid or devastate the country's financial system. very damaging inrestitutions into government, military and industrial networks were almost a capitally occurrence, resulting in the loss of precious and expensive advanced technology, the technology that fuels economic growth and sustains our security. over the last two years, the
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strategic forces subcommittee has supported legislation to accelerate the arduous process of developing policies and doctrine to guide our responses to cyberattacks and to govern the use of cyberweapons by our own military forces. the subcommittee has also sponsored legislation to begin to close the gap and cyberdefenses by developing new technological approaches in partnership with america's cutting edge information technology sector. moving on to space programs, the bill would provide the air force the authority to purchase in a block buy, using a fixed price contract, the next two advanced extremely high frequency satellites, an important part of the nuclear command and control system. this will result in a 20% savings. we have authorized the president's level of funding for the nuclear modernization program at the d.o.e.'s national security administration, but we're fully aware that the budget control act that was
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passed last summer has reduced the levels that can be appropriated by some $400 million. i would note that even with this reduction, it is still a 5% increase over last year's level. i will be working with my colleagues to carefully evaluate the president's request for fiscal year 2013, in light of the commitments both the congress and the administration made under the new start treaty for modern nuclearization. this congress made commitments for modernization and moving forward. we must honor those commitments. most importantly, we need to continue to ensure that our stockpile is safe, reliable and works as intended by the military so that we maintain our strategic forces jibbing deterrent well into the 21st century. we understand the budget climate that we're in, and it's likely that realistic adjustments must be made as a result of the mandated reductions to defense spending in the budget control act, but we'll work with the department of defense and u.s.
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strategic command to ensure that pressing priorities are met and our strategic deterrents are not undercut. let me again thank my colleague senator sessions and our staff for the productive and bipartisan relationship we have had on this subcommittee and also all members of the subcommittee. i look forward to working with our colleagues to pass this important legislation. madam president, i yield back any remaining time that has been allotted and thanks for the opportunity to appear. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: madam president. the presiding officer: the senator from florida. mr. nelson: i ask consent the quorum be lifted. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. nelson: madam president, i want to speak while we're in this pause here on the defense bill about a looming problem that the entire eastern seaboard of the united states has, and that is that the spanish drilling company, repsall, is bringing a rig in that has been constructed over in asia, and sometime early next year, they're going to drill in deep water off the north coast of cuba. now, the spanish drilling company is a very competent company. as a matter of fact, they adhere to safety standards that are required by the u.s. because they drill in the gulf of mexico
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in american waters, and so if there is a responsible party in drilling, then we have one. however, there are other leases that the cuban government is granting to other countries for drilling that may not adhere to the safe standards that are set that repsall will agree to abide by the same safety standards that they use drilling in american waters and have agreed in principle that they will file a plan of action with the u.s. secretary of the interior in the case that there should be a spill. all of that is well and good, but there are other companies
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companies coming down the line, drilling in other leases that may not adhere to their standards. if there were a spill off the north coast of cuba, guess who is going to be affected. because that is wf the gulf stream comes along and then it flows northeast, parallels the florida keys and all those delicate coral reefs, comes in and hugs the east coast of florida from miami all the way to palm beach, goes off the coast a few miles, hugs the coast all the way up to the middle of the peninsula at fort pierce, florida, and then parallels the eastern seaboard all the way up past georgia, south carolina, north carolina, and then leaves paralleling the eastern seaboard at cape
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hatteras and goes off across the atlantic and ends up in the northern part of europe. now, if there were a spill, a major spill, it doesn't have to be to the magnitude of the deep water horizon spill off of louisiana. if there were a major spill and all that oil is carried in the gulf stream and it comes into the coast at miami and fort lauderdale and palm beach, you know what happened to the tourism industry all along the gulf coast when, in fact, there were -- on some of those coasts, there was not much oil at all, but people didn't come as tourists because they thought the beaches were covered. can you imagine the economic calamity that would occur as a result of a spill? and therefore, madam president,
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my colleague, marco rubio, and i and other senators, in particular senator menendez of new jersey, have filed legislation that will require financial responsibility from a foreign source if they spill in foreign waters there would be a cause of action against them if damage is done to the interest of the united states, be it the governments of the united states, be it private individuals or be it private companies. if we do not have a cause of action where there is liability as a result of a spill by whomever in foreign waters and if it comes in the scenario that i have laid


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